Chapter 236 - Old Books Maniac Heinrich (4)
Theodore's face became dazed at Heathcliff's words. Heathcliff recognized that as an expression of disbelief but didn't know how to explain what he'd said.
Perhaps he was unfamiliar with teaching others.
"I'll go back to the story. I went too far forward." Where should he begin? Heathcliff touched his chin and revealed his knowledge. "Since ancient times, meteorology was a scene that looked into the future. The primitive spells were used to determine how much crops could grow that year. Finding out the weather in advance was like predicting where a leaf would fall. The science alone couldn't be perfect."
"Is this the realm of seeing the future?"
"You understand quickly. Yes, it is a type of foresight. In ancient times, the priests of each tribe were responsible for this."
There had been no means more effective in raising the authority of a god than to predict the future. It had opened the path to escape from natural disasters and gave people prosperity.
During a time when civilization had yet to mature, the priests had always assumed the position of a god. As such, the weather had been believed to be a phenomenon closely related to divinity.
As Heathcliff was a magician who had reached a higher level than anyone else in climate manipulation, his eyes also naturally looked into the future.
"I started to see it when I finished my 7th Circle. Something fuzzy that I called 'clouds'... So, it turned into real clouds. Cirrocumulus cloud, stratocumulus cloud, nimbostratus cloud, cumulonimbus... Every time I make a dangerous choice, it becomes dark? That is how I know there's danger."
If he were to face a strong enemy, he would see clouds with lightning. If the peaceful days were to continue, he would be comfortably surrounded by white cotton clouds. By the time he reached the 8th circle, he had become capable of seeing disasters in distant kingdoms.
It had been around that time that the name of the storm magician, Heathcliff, had started to gain popularity abroad. He had saved a village about to be washed away by a flood, and he had also predicted the eruption of a dormant volcano.
Heathcliff, the author of the Book of Clouds, gave a monologue as he recalled the past. "Well, I ended up dying in the middle of nowhere."
Theodore was amazed by Heathcliff's words and hurriedly asked, "It can't be...! Didn't you see it?"
"Maybe, maybe not. I don't know what happened after I died. Now, it is your turn," Heathcliff said as he looked Theodore up and down. Then he spoke in an admiring voice, "Wow, this enemy is terrible. Incredibly strong. Probably stronger than I had been during my lifetime...? What type of person are you to have such monsters as enemies at this age?"
"This isn't a quest."
From the Orcus Company, that Theodore had unintentionally provoked, to Andras who had lost three swords as well as the Lairon Kingdom, that had participated in the civil war... There were many strong people who wanted to kill Theodore.
'But the enemy is greater than I imagined.' Someone equivalent to an 8th Circle magician was going to attack him?
If Theodore thought about it, there were only a few possibilities.
It was either one of the empire's first three swords or the secret of the black magic organization. He didn't think so, but it might be someone from the Lairon Kingdom.
Heathcliff watched as a deep look appeared in Theodore's eyes. Then he said, "Hrmm? It seems like you have your own ideas. You should be careful though. The one who will threaten you is a monster that can't be measured with common sense."
"Yes, I will keep that in mind."
"Then my advice will end here. Okay, now I will move onto my magic. Then it is the third one."
Theodore's eyes brightened the moment the topic changed to Heathcliff's magic. Was it due to Gluttony or his own innate tendencies? Theodore's interest was stimulated whenever it came to magic. How much of that 'storm' magic could he receive? Wasn't it also from Heathcliff himself? It was a story for any magician, not just Theodore.
"You... Are you interested in my Supercell?"
"Yes," Theodore replied without any hesitation.
"The final form of Thunderstorm is an achievement that downgrades weather phenomena like natural disasters. It is a magic that no one can reproduce. It is my Sorcery. So, of course, no one can do it."
In his prime, Heathcliff had been able to summon a storm with one hand or cause a lightning bolt with one word. He had been a walking natural disaster, with the nickname of 'Storm.'
Supercell was the extreme magic that Heathcliff had reached in his last years. With it, he had been able to control meteorological phenomena. If Theodore could obtain it, then he might have a chance.
"Hrmm, thank you for the praise." Heathcliff shrugged while scratching his nose. "But I am sorry. In your current state, the magic will just be a burden on your circles. You have just used one great magic, so you shouldn't receive another great magic."
"Circle Overload... It is more annoying than I thought."
"It is better if you think of it as growing pains. But if I subtract Supercell, it should be fine to transfer everything else."
Then Heathcliff pointed his hands at Theodore. However, Theodore didn't feel any evil intentions from this gesture. Otherwise, he would've been ready for battle. Then several notifications entered Theodore's ears successively.
[Object name 'Heathcliff' has requested the transfer of knowledge. Analyzing the details of this request... ]
[Request from object name 'Heathcliff' has been approved.]
[The 'Meteorology' skill will be adjusted to your level of proficiency.]
[The skill 'Cloud Magic' has been learned. The skill experience of 'Cloud Magic' has increased due to unknown intervention. Please note that errors might occur.]
['Aiolos' divinity' has responded. The increase in proficiency will be doubled.]
Simultaneously, Theodore shook where he was sitting. "Kuk!"
The massive amount of information that suddenly poured into his brain gave him an intense wave of dizziness and headaches. Theodore would have fainted if he hadn't experienced something like it before.
The magic knowledge of the 8th Circle magician, Heathcliff, was deep and vast. At least, there was no one in this modern age who could match him when it came to wind magic.
Theodore nowrealized how clouds moved. He also realized how thunderbolts were born and why they came down to the ground. He even knew why wind was drawn to the surface layer of the sea.
The information that Theodore accepted would probably go beyond 10 thick encyclopedias.
He now knew how the wind passing by his skin moved and why the clouds were floating above his head. It was Weather Control that people in this modern time didn't know how to use.
'A-Amazing...! This is why Senior Heathcliff wandered through the entire continent.' Theodore admired the knowledge through his throbbing skull. 'Seeing it directly... He directly observed and reconfigured the weather information of the entire continent to complete Cloud Magic. It would've taken 5 years, 10 years...'
Heathcliff's absence from the Meltor Kingdom would've been very painful, but Heathcliff had been the epitome of a magician. He had traveled for decades to find the truth. He had truly been a great and monstrous magician.
Theodore felt reverence for him and bowed deeply to Heathcliff. "Thank you for your generosity, Senior."
"Ah, don't be so stiff. Isn't it the duty of a magic tower magician to transfer knowledge to others? It is unfortunate that you're not a magician of the white tower, but I hope that you can take all of my knowledge next time."
"Yes, I will work diligently."
It didn't end with just absorbing this knowledge. According to the accepted knowledge, Supercell was the peak of climate magic. It was clear that Theodore wouldn't be able to get any benefits if he didn't fully embody the knowledge and magic he had just acquired.
Heathcliff liked Theodore's modest words and knocked against his shoulder. "Then I will tell you my quest at the next opportunity. Until then, survive well and teach your juniors."
Heathcliff felt sorry that he couldn't teach them personally as he waved his short staff. Then the whole world started to turn black. It was like a signal. Synchro was disconnected, and Theodore gazed at Heathcliff as he returned to reality. Feeling grateful, Theodore smiled until the end.
The Book of Cloud's Synchro was over.
* * *
Theodore opened his eyes in bed and felt a sense of fulfillment. It took him 30 seconds after his encounter with Heathcliff to summarize the Cloud Magic given to him. He took deep breaths and decided to think about his approaching threat.
'Isn't this my second prediction of death?'
The first time had a time limit, while this one depended on the conditions.
"Moreover, it's someone stronger than Heathcliff... There are few such monsters on the entire continent."
Heathcliff might've specialized in one type of magic, but he had been an 8th Circle magician. He had been incomparable to some of the sword masters that Theodore had dealt with. If so, let's assume Veronica was the one attacking him. Let's imagine a monster whose destructive power surpassed Pan Helliones, whose speed was beyond Randolph, and who also had innumerable combat experience...
How would Theodore be able to survive, rather than win? The answer was simple.
"I shouldn't fight."
His death would be confirmed the moment the fight was established. It was a cold conclusion, but Theodore accepted it. In fact, it was the reason he had left Soldun in a hurry. Since his power had been revealed, an assassin would be a monster who could kill Theodore in his best state. The Soldun Kingdom was too weak to prevent the attack of such a being.
He thought it would be safer to return quickly before his movements were revealed.
"...It is too quick, no matter how I think about it. They shouldn't be able to catch up with me at this point unless they have been following my actions since Soldun."
His logic and intuition were shouting in one voice that this situation wasn't a coincidence. It was caused by someone.
'Murder by proxy.'
This was the phrase which popped up from Lee Yoonsung's memory. It was a warning from his super sensitivity, and it was a logical conclusion. Anyway, it didn't matter.
He had made a decision based on Heathcliff's memory. It was foolishness to oppose natural disasters. Instead, it was best to find a way to reduce the damage if a typhoon hit, or to stay away if a volcano exploded.
Likewise, it was the same for this fight. The power of his enemy was close to a natural disaster, and his coping method was no different.
Then he said to his left hand, "Open the Library."
If even a divinity was stored in Gluttony's stomach, then it meant there would also be things capable of causing a natural disaster.